UC Davis Medical Center is the first institution in Sacramento and among a small number of hospitals
in the nation to implant artificial cervical discs in patients with degenerative disc disease.
"We are seeing an evolution in spine surgery," said Kee Kim, UC Davis assistant professor and chief of
spinal neurosurgery. "The current standard of treatment is rather crude in that it changes the mechanics
of the spine and may cause stiffness in the neck. The artificial implant is designed to preserve motion,
and could potentially eliminate complications with fusion."
UC Davis patients with degenrative disc disease are participat- ing in a randomized clinical trial comparing
the current standard of treatment replacement bone and spinal fusion with artificial cervical discs,
an all-metal prosthesis intended to maintain motion. The trial is being conducted at 35 clinical sites
around the country. Nationwide, 550 patients will be enrolled in the study over a period of two years.